Thanks to the new documentary Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, which chronicles Jim Carrey’s transformation into absurdist performance artist Andy Kaufman for 1999’s, contemporary audiences are praising Carrey as a great artist with deep philosophical insights. That’s great and all, but ’90s kids know that Jim Carrey’s true genius is evident in catchphrases that ruled the fifth grade cafeteria table and talking with his butt. And nowhere are those talents on display greater than in 1994’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
After years on the Fox sketch comedy show In Living Color, Carrey became a bonafide movie star with Ace Ventura. The hilarious comedy had a huge effect on millennials, including here at RSVLTS HQ where we were inspired to make the “Laces Out” Beanie, and thanks to Netflix, we can now watch it ad nauseam beginning December 1. But before you start your Ace Ventura binge-a-thon — the under-appreciated sequel is up, too — check out these 10 interesting facts about the making of Jim Carrey’s greatest cinematic achievement.
Jim Carrey Wasn’t The First Choice
Rick Moranis was first offered the role of Ace Ventura by producers, but turned it down so he could portray Barney Rubble in The Flintstones. We love Rick Moranis…but we just can’t picture him in the role. Oh yeah, Judd Nelson and Alan Rickman were also considered. Yeah…no.
It Wasn’t The First Time Carrey Spoke Out Of His Butt
The notion to speak out of his own ass first came to Carrey when working on In Living Color. Frustrated with Keenen Ivory Wayans’ constant rejection of the sketches he pitched, Carrey recited an entire sketch from his butt — right in Wayan’s face. Wayans was less amused than the 10-year-olds who would go on to mimic the hilari-ass bit for years to come.
Ace’s Voice Was Based On Another Character
Ace’s voice and mannerisms were based on “Over-Confidant Gay Man,” one of Carrey’s many characters from In Living Color. The character even uttered Ace’s signature “Alrighty then” in one of the sketches.
The VHS Included An Extra Scene
The entire scene with Heinz Getwellvet was cut from the theatrical release. It was added back in when the movie was released on VHS, advertised with “additional footage not seen in theaters.” The scene, which showcased Carrey’s incredible range, would certainly have earned the film an Oscar nod had it been left in.
Those Black Eyes Are Legit
The opening scene features character actor and former professional boxer Randall “Tex” Cobb. In the DVD commentary, director Tom Shadyac revealed that Cobb, who fought Larry Holmes and Leon Spinks, showed up on set with those bruises under his eyes. Shadyac decided to forego makeup and just let Cobb look like his badass self.
Courteney Cox Wasn’t The first Choice
Lauren Holly was originally offered the role of Melissa Robinson but turned it down. However, she went on to star with Carrey in Dumb and Dumber later that year. Tea Leoni and Carrie-Anne Moss were also considered before Courteney Cox was ultimately chosen.
Cannibal Corpse Was Carrey’s Choice
American death metal band Cannibal Corpse appeared in the film performing their song “Hammer Smashed Face” at the request of Carrey, who was a longtime fan. Unfortunately, they were credited as “Cannibal Corpses.” So close.
There’s A Clue About Einhorn’s Secret On Her Desk
In Ace Ventura, before Ace knows that Lois Einehorn is Ray Finkle, there are two apples and a banana in the shape of a penis on her desk. This foreshadows the reveal that she is a man later on in the movie. from MovieDetails
Ace Has Something In Common With Hannibal Lechter
When Carrey met Anthony Hopkins years later, he learned that both he and Hopkins based their iconic characters on animal. Carrey based Ace Ventura on birds while Hopkins used lizards as inspiration for Hannibal Lechter. But Hopkins never talked out of his butt, so Carrey has that going for him…
It Made A Ton Of Cash Despite Bad Reviews
Ace may not have made any cash for finding that Shih Tzu, but he sure cleaned up at the box office, earning over $107 million on a $15 million budget. And that was despite earning the ire of critics, such as Roger Ebert, who found it “a long, unfunny slog through an impenetrable plot.” Alrighty then.